In our North County St. Louis, MO office, we see many patients who are troubled with back pain, and a few of these people have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Holland has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The scientific research confirms the success we see in our office. One study published in the academic journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first move in overcoming with your back issues may literally keep you out of the operating room.
In this study, medical experts from Dartmouth reviewed data from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their low back issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical records to determine whether the subjects wound up having back surgery in an effort to correct the issue.
What the authors observed was that 42.7% of the people who first consulted with a surgeon for their back problems ended up in surgery in that 3-year time frame, whereas only 1.5 percent of those who first saw a chiropractor had the same fate. The authors wrote:
"Even after controlling for injury severity and other measures, workers with an initial visit for the injury to a surgeon had almost nine times the odds of receiving lumbar spine surgery compared to those seeing primary care providers, whereas workers whose first visit was to a chiropractor had significantly lower odds of surgery."
These are impressive outcomes. Seeing a chiropractor significantly reduces your odds of getting back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this report "had lower odds of chronic work disability" and they also had fewer expensive MRI tests.
Let's also consider this important detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most influential medical publication on spinal injury.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major problem related to spinal surgery is that there is a very high rate of failure. In an important analysis in the European Spine Journal, researchers wrote:
"Failed back surgery is a problem that has become sufficiently widespread to even warrant its own special conferences, with recent reviews reporting failure rates ranging from 5 to 50%."
The experts in this same study concluded:
"It is extremely difficult to identify unequivocal predictor factors that can be used to accurately predict the outcome of surgery."
As a chiropractor, Dr. Holland is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without the need of risky surgery or drugs--and many studies have documented the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in North County St. Louis, MO and you need relief for your back pain, give our office a call today at (314) 867-8888 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!